Hospital Bed for Home Use

Hospital Bed for Home Use

 

 

 

 

Should You Consider a Hospital Bed For Home Use?

 

If you or a loved one has difficulty getting in and out of bed, reaching a standing position, or is bed bound and requires treatments in bed, you may want to consider renting or purchasing a hospital bed for use in your home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The main purposes of hospital beds at home is that they permit body positioning that is not feasible in a regular home bed and that they permit the attachment of other pieces of equipment that cannot be used on a regular home bed. 

 

They also make it easier and safer for the patient to get in and out of bed and stand up, and they make it easier for a caregiver to provide bedside care (such as position changes, bathing and assisting with eating). 

 

In addition, they can be customized with wheels for moving the bed and side rails for patient security. If the patient is at risk of rolling out of bed or has limited mobility, a bed side rail is particularly important.

 

 

Let’s talk about five important reasons you may want to look into bringing one into your home:

 

1. Better positioning for patients

 

When people spend extended periods of time in bed, the pressure that the bed exerts on their bodies causes skin tissues to become trapped between bone and the bed’s surface, causing pressure sores or bedsores.

For such patients, hospital beds provide an effective solution: they enable users to make adjustments to the positioning of the bed, allowing them to shift the pressure that the bed places from one part of their body to another. Also, patients at risk for bedsores should also take care while choosing mattresses, and select one that will reduce friction

 

2. Improved Circulation

 

Hospital beds allow users to alter and adjust the bed to better position their head and feet. These changes allow for movement as well as periodic change to the pressure points on the body, thereby improving the patient’s blood circulation while in bed.

 

3. Safety

 

Hospital beds become a requirement for people who suffer from conditions that require a caregiver’s monitoring or occasional restraint. Especially in the case of people who are at risk of falling out of bed – for instance, people living with dementia or other cognitive impairments – the bed rails on hospital beds assist in reducing the risk of fractures due to falls.

While full-length bed rails are a necessity for some patients, many people use rails as an assist while getting in and out of bed, or to re-position themselves in the bed. These patients do not require the restraint of a full-length rail. Most of our hospital beds are available with both full and half-rail options.

 

4. Transferring

 

Often, patients experience difficulty getting in and out of beds. Hospital beds make this problem easier because they have the ability to raise the patient higher or lower. Due to this feature, patients can sit up and get out of bed in the position with relative ease.

People experiencing hip and knee problems, for instance, typically look to be seated with those joints at an angle greater than 90 degrees; this helps them comfortably get into a standing position. Hospital beds allow users to do so with safety and ease.

 

5.  Caregiver Assistance

 

Caring for a loved one who is bedridden can take a toll on the physical well-being of a caregiver, and a common problem they face is back pain from frequent bending to administer care.


Hospital Beds enable caregivers to elevate their patients to a level at which they can care for them without straining their own bodies in the process.

 

Types of Hospital Beds

 

 

Electric Hospital Bed

The basic modern hospital bed is called an electric bed. They are the beds most often seen in city hospitals or major town hospitals. The options of raising and lowering the bed are chosen through buttons that are set on the side rails.

 

Invacare Homecare Full Electrical Hospital Bed – Best Seller

 

This is the bed you would most likely look into, unless the patient has the specific needs outlined in the bed types below.

Bariatric Bed

A Bariatric bed is the heavy-duty full-electric bed frame you would need for bariatric individuals weighing up to 600 pounds. 

 

Drive Medical Full Electric Bariatric Hospital Bed with Mattress and 1 Set of Rails, Model 1530010BV-PKV
Drive Medical Full Electric Bariatric Hospital Bed with Mattress and 1 Set of T Rails, Model - 15300BV-PKG

 

Gatch Bed 

The gatch bed has long-standing history of use in hospitals. They are most often seen in nursing homes and older and/or remote areas that are economically-challenged that utilize these beds because of their lack of need for electricity. They have three cranks at the foot of the bed below the mattress. One crank raises and lowers the whole bed, one crank raises and lowers the head of the bed and the last crank raises and lowers the foot of the bed.

 

Stretchers

The types of beds you see in a hospital emergency room unit are typically stretchers. These beds are designed for mobility. In the event a person must dial 911 from a separate location, these beds can easily transfer from house to ambulance to the operating room to the ER unit, thanks to special features, such as folding legs.

 

Low Beds

Low beds are specifically designed for those patients who are liable to fall off beds and cause injury, despite the restraint of the side rails. Low beds are set from about 8 inches to less than two feet off the ground at the highest setting. Some designs of the bed have a high/low maneuvering setting, but most beds are just low to the ground with just the option to raise or lower the head and foot of the bed.

 

 

Low Air Loss Beds

A low air loss bed is a type of bed which has special cushions and a system designed to blow air into sacs within the mattress. These beds are designed for burn patients and patients with skin grafts by keeping them cool and dry, for patients prone to bed sores and patients with circulatory and/or skin problems by reducing pressure on the skin.

 

 

Circo-electric Beds 

A circo-electric bed enables the bed to rotate inside circular bars that look like a giant hamster treadmill. These beds used for patients in traction, severe skin conditions, patients who have severe burns or for patients who spinal injuries that cannot be moved but must be turned every two hours according to standard hospital policy.

 

 

Clinitron Beds

A Clinitron bed is similar to both the low air loss bed and the circo-electric bed in that it is .designed for patients with pressure ulcers, flaps, grafts, burns or skin disorders. It reduces pressure on the patient’s skin because it is filled with material that resembles sand. Dry, warm air circulates through the material to maintain a level temperature and to support the body’s weight evenly.

 

 

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No matter which type of bed you choose, it is important to take some simple precautions in order to use the hospital bed safely. 

 

Here are some tips for maintaining the safety of the patient using a hospital bed at home:

 

  • Keep the wheels of the bed locked at all times. Unlock the wheels only if the bed needs to be moved. Once the bed is moved into place, lock the wheels again.

 

  • Put a bell and a telephone within reach of the bed. These should be available so you can call for help when needed.

 

  • Keep the side rails up at all times except when you get in and out of bed. You may need a footstool next to the bed. Use a night light if you need to get out of bed at night.

 

  • Put the hand control pad within easy reach to adjust positions. Learn to use the hand control and practice moving the bed into different positions. Test the bed’s hand and panel controls to be sure the bed is working correctly. You may be able to lock the positions so the bed cannot be adjusted.

 

  • Follow the specific manufacturer’s instructions for using the bed. Check for cracks and damage to the bed controls. Call the bed manufacturer or another professional if you smell burning or hear unusual sounds coming from the bed. Do not use the bed if there is a burning smell coming from it. Call if the bed controls are not working correctly to change positions of the bed.

 

  • When you adjust any part of the bed, it should move freely. The bed should extend to its full length and adjust to any position. Do not place the hand control or power cords through the bed rails.

 

If you think a hospital bed might be helpful in your home, consult with your physician to determine what specific functions you should be looking for. 

 

Please drop me a comment if you have any thoughts on or experience with having a hospital bed in the home.

 

You may also be interested in:

Prevent Bed Sores

Adjustable Beds – Benefits and Reviews

Top Pillows to Relieve Neck Pain

How to Buy Adult Diapers

For Caregivers: Coping With Incontinence

How to Give a Sponge Bath in Bed

How to Choose Adaptive Clothing

Shower Chair and Bath Bench Guide

All About Grab Bars and Hand Rails for Safety

Prevent Bed Sores

Caregivers – How to Reduce the Risks from Heavy Lifting

Choosing the Right Transport Chair

Practical Shoes for the Elderly

Help for Painkiller-Induced Constipation (OIC)

The Most Effective Stop Smoking Aids

Adjustable Beds Guide and Reviews

10 Myths About Hospice

A Hospice Reflection

 

 

 

Modifying Your Bathroom for Critical Illness

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As my mom’s liver cirrhosis progressed, she became increasingly weak and unbalanced. 

 

 

 

 

 

If she felt well enough to leave her bed, her time was spent on the couch in the family room.  She began to use a walker to avoid falls, and of course my dad was always around to make sure she was moving safely.  When it came time to shower, mom was nervous about losing balance, but wanted to maintain her privacy, so she would bathe with the door unlocked and my dad sitting on the bed just outside the ensuite bathroom.

 

Eventually, they decided to make some modifications to the bathroom in order for mom to feel safer and maintain her independence with personal grooming.  The company he called helped my Dad decide to make some changes to the shower and add a seat and some grab bars.  While they were at it, my Dad had the bathroom counters and sinks changed to update the whole look. When it was finished, the bathroom was lovely and fresh (not like a hospital, just modern and safe).

 

Unfortunately, mom spent a lot of time in the hospital after the renovations, so she was not able to make as much use of the upgrades as my dad had anticipated and hoped.  Nevertheless, it was the right thing to do at the time, and it made a difference in my mom’s quality of life when she was home.

 

In this post, I want to cover some considerations and options for modifying your bathroom to accommodate someone has chronic balance and/or mobility issues.  If you or a loved are feeling unsafe using the bathroom, it is important to assess and minimize your risks.  Sometimes, even something as simple as installing a grab bar can make the difference between a safe shower and falling hazard.

          

Aspects to Consider

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Independence in the bathroom is one of the most challenging tasks for accessibility and safety in the home.  No matter the disability, the bathroom is almost always one of the most challenging rooms to maneuver in. It is difficult to feel at home, let alone safe, if you don’t have secure access to your own bathroom. Achieving safety and independence with bathroom modifications is not only possible, but also customizable and can be attractive.

 

Modifying a bathroom is, by definition, a very personal project. It includes making alterations to a living space to meet the needs of physical limitations that people may be living with so that they can live a much more independent life.  A customized bathroom space will depend on an individual’s needs, preferences, and space available.  Also, a modified bathroom doesn’t have to look start or institutional; it can be as luxurious as you imagine it to be (and your budget allows).  You can install beautiful tile, stylish sinks and modern fixtures.  The look of your bathroom doesn’t have to suffer in order to accommodate accessibility, independence, and safety.

 

When modifying the bathroom, keep your focus on altering spaces for safe movement and creating a safe flow.

 

 Grab Bars

           

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Whether it’s for a person with a disability or the elderly, grab bars are one of the simplest ways to provide support and balance. They can be useful almost anywhere in the bathroom:

 

  • for getting on and off the toilet
  • for in and out of the tub
  • for stability in the shower or at the sink
  • as handrails for navigation about the space

 

You can choose from:

 

  • standard wall mounted grab bars
  • swing up grab bars
  • Super poles
  • handrails

 

Balance is a tremendous challenge for the seriously ill, disabled and the elderly.  It can be a simple adaptation that can save lives and provide a sense of security when navigating through the bathroom.

 

               

Barrier Free Showers

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Barrier-free showers are showers without a curb that are designed for easier entrance and exit. The floor of a barrier-free shower is level with the rest of the bathroom floor in order to eliminate the step or climb into the shower that can be difficult to navigate for anyone with a mobility issue.

 

Selected for its barrier-free design, ease of installation, structural base and integrated wood backing, this roll-in shower is ideal for residential use. The design minimizes the chances of being installed in a non-barrier free manner, having grab bars installed without proper backing, and also reduces installation costs by installing directly on floor joists, sub-flooring and concrete surface.

 

                   

Doored Bathtubs

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Doored bathtubs allow users to enter the bathtub without having to climb in. When the doors are swung open, an entryway a few inches above the floor is created. Once properly seated in the tub, water temperature adjustments are made easy with oversized faucet controls. Doored bathtubs may include hand-held showerheads, stationary showerheads or Jacuzzi water jets.

 

Doored bathtubs often have a low threshold door to enable easy entry and exit. They can be ordered with or without the upper surround wall. A bather can sit comfortably in a slightly reclined position or shower while standing or sitting. They are carefully designed to accommodate the user without sacrificing installation space and look polished in homes and institutions.  They are also available with a removable lift access cover or full front and side panels that can be installed either against a wall or in a corner.

 

Bathing can be incredibly challenging for people in wheelchairs or with mobility issues. Doored bathtubs are often designed with contoured seats for a safer transfer from wheelchair to bath and vice versa. Doored bathtub users can take a seated bath or use the seat as leverage and balance.

           

Water Containment Solutions

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Keeping water inside a shower/bath increases the safety factor of the whole bathroom.  You can find many options by contacting a company that specializes in bathroom modifications.

 

Collapsible Water Dam – Selected as a high quality option to control water spillage in barrier-free and roll-in showers, the collapsible dam is 1” high with strong self-adhesive bottom.

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Features:

  • Provides for water retention yet collapses when rolled over by a walker or wheelchair
  • Helps reduce maintenance in barrier-free showers

 

 

Corner Setting Half Height Bi-fold Shower Door – Half height design allows a caregiver to assist the user in showering, while controlling water and keeping caregiver dry.

 

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Once closed, the doors create a water barrier, ensuring that no water runs out of the shower, and controlling water splash. When opened, the doors allow full access to roll-in showers, walk-in showers and full barrier-free showers. These types of units are available in different sizes.

 

 Remember that if you or a loved one are unsteady, safety hazards in your bathroom deserve the highest consideration.  The bathroom is the site of many accidents and falls. 

 

Have you modified your bathroom for safety and accessibility or are you considering doing so?  Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

 

You may also be interested in:

Your Guide to Shower Chairs and Bath Benches

Guide to Bathroom Grab Bars and Hand Rails

Help Your Older Adult Move From the Wheelchair to the Toilet

How to Reduce the Risks of Heavy Lifting for Caregivers

Choosing the Best Transport Chair

Choosing a Medical Walker

Choosing a Walking Cane

Find the Right Power Wheelchair

Buying a Stairlift

Guide to a Residential Elevator in Your Home

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